An experiment was performed to test the perceptual benefits for non-native listeners of enhancing consonantal regions which contain a high density of acoustic cues to phonemic contrasts in English. Groups of Spanish-L1, Japanese-L1 and native English listeners heard nonsense VCV material produced by two different speakers and composed of 12 consonants presented in two vocalic contexts. Both natural and enhanced versions of these stimuli were presented in a background of speech-shaped noise at 0 dB SNR. All three groups of listeners obtained significantly higher intelligibility scores for the enhanced VCVs. They also showed similar speaker effects. Consonant intelligibility scores are discussed in relation to the confusions expected on the basis of the phonological system of the listeners' L1. 1. Introduction Introduction Second language (L2) learners may experience great difficulty in discriminating and identifying phonemes which are different to those in their native language (for ..
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